What is biblical archaeology? It is the study of everything that remains of the cultures and environments in biblical lands. It is not a treasure hunt. It is a way to know the world of the Bible, what the authors of Scripture assumed you knew.
Joshua knew about archaeology. “Yet Israel did not burn any of the cities built on mounds except Hazor, which Joshua burned.” Joshua 11:13
Jesus knew about archaeology. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Matthew 13:44
A = Apologetics Archaeology can be helpful in demonstrating the reliability of the Bible and our faith. Archaeological finds can not only confirm the people, places and events mentioned in Scripture, it can add details. An example would be Hezekiah’s Tunnel in Jerusalem. (2 Kings 20:20)
“Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city [of Jerusalem]….”
B = Bible translation clarifications Galatians 3:24 “Therefore the Law has become our pedagogue to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.” But what exactly is a pedagogue (literally child leader) “strict tutor” (Phillips) “custodian” (RSV) “tutor” (NASB) “schoolmaster” (KJ)
So… The Law leads us to the teacher (Christ) so we can be justified. The Law is not the teacher. Its job is to get us to the teacher willingly or by force.
C = Context Becoming familiar with the world in which the biblical events took place. “Seeing” in three dimensions. An example would be small silver “scrolls” from a Jerusalem tomb dating to about 560 B.C.
The little scrolls were unrolled. The covenant name of the LORD (I AM) pronounced Yahweh was listed three times. A Jewish student who was orthodox said that this detail made the identification of the inscription easy, a “no-brainer” Only one place in the Bible had the “I AM” listed three times in a row. Numbers 6:24-26
And what is the significance? These three short sentences in Hebrew were said only once a year. After atonement was made on Yom Kippur, the high priest came out of the Holy of Holies to face the people. He made a pronouncement on the basis of the finished work of atonement for the sins of the nation. His statement (not wish or hope) was, – “The LORD blesses you and keeps you. – The LORD makes His face to shine upon you and is gracious to you. – The LORD lifts up His countenance upon you and gives you wholeness. – Amen” (and that can be relied on)
And this pronouncement kept the occupant of that grave going Through the dark days while most of the people were in exile. Through the days with no temple, priests, or sacrifices.
Today what keeps us going? Jesus offered himself as the perfect and final sacrifice. He was both the high priest and the sacrifice. Have paid for and removed all our sins, he turns to us and says, The LORD blesses you and keeps you, The LORD makes His face shine upon you and is gracious to you, The LORD lifts up His countenance on you, And gives you wholeness.
Your Questions? Resources for further learning – Bibliography – Go to Israel or other lands of the Bible “You had to be there.” or “I do not read the Bible the same as I did before I went to Israel.” How can I help you today?
Web Resource Web Sites Related to Biblical Archaeology http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/index.shtml *http://www.BiblePlaces.com and their bloghttp://www.BiblePlaces.com http://www.BibleArchaeology.org http://www.bib-arch.org (also free downloadable e-books)http://www.bib-arch.org http://www.thebookandthespade.wordpress.com http://www.israelpalestineguide.wordpress.com (blog) http://www.israelpalestineguide.wordpress.com